When Older Children Babysit
The number one recommendation for this situation is selecting an older child that has demonstrated adequate responsibility. If the older child is new to babysitting (or the only older sibling), it is strongly recommended that the younger child wear the Wireless Panda Child Guard or the "Mommy I'm Here" tracking device. Unlike a pre-teen, these wireless devices will not be distracted by a cell phone, TV, U Tube video or the boy/girl next door!
Whether in the backyard or at a neighborhood park, this Panda Child device automatically alerts the older child (wearing the receiver) that the younger child (wearing the panda bear) is beyond the number of feet permitted. The range is from 6 feet to 30 feet. The "Mommy I'm Here" is similar but the parent's transmitter button must be pushed to activate the alarm on the child's transmitter. This is useful when the child is old enough to go a bit further without worry. Parents use this device when child are playing nearby such as the backyard or driveway but may be out of sight. The loud tone is activated up to 150 feet away and transmits through doors and walls. Click here to see the products.
All children (if appropriate) should know how to call 9-1-1 and the phone numbers of two trusted adults that are in the immediate vicinity. The older child that watches younger children at home in the evening must know how to set an intrusion alarm and should have secret hiding spaces in the home as discussed in the Home Safety article.